17/01/2006 - 21:00

IBT teams up with Macquarie

17/01/2006 - 21:00

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Amid strong demand in the higher education sector, Perth-based IBT Education Ltd has grown its relationship with Macquarie University in Sydney via a new college in Sydney’s CBD.

Amid strong demand in the higher education sector, Perth-based IBT Education Ltd has grown its relationship with Macquarie University in Sydney via a new college in Sydney’s CBD.

The new campus builds on IBT’s existing relationship with Macquarie and Curtin University in Sydney.

IBT chief executive Rod Jones said there was a natural fit between the two organisations.

“Macquarie is a well-respected institution and this gives us further access to the strong overseas student market in Sydney,” he said.

Through a subsidiary, IBT will provide teaching, administration and support services at the Macquarie College in the areas of business and information technology.

A key difference between the new CBD campus and the IBT-operated Sydney Institute of Business and Technology in North Ryde, Mr Jones said, was that IBT would operate full-degree undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Currently, IBT only offers pre-university studies at SIBT.

The college is expected to open by early next year and is to be profitable within about two years.

Established in 1994, IBT was among the first to develop the business model, which is to provide teaching staff, curriculum, facilities and marketing programs for universities, in addition to offering pre-university study in its own right.

“It’s proved to be a very successful business model,” Mr Jones said.

But despite having a strong case for organic growth, IBT is no stranger to acquisitions. In October last year, it bought ACL, the nation’s largest privately-owned provider of English language education, in a deal worth up to $55.7 million.

“It’s no secret that we’re looking at an opportunity in Canada,” Mr Jones said.

In terms of future direction, he said there were also opportunities for growth into vocational and corporate training.

Senior Bell Potter Securities analyst Matthew Ward said he expected demand from international students in the city to remain strong and would be a strong revenue driver for the new college.

“IBT has a highly cash generative business model,” he said.

Mr Ward said he had a 12-month price target of $2.16 per IBT share.

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